Saturday, 13 August 2016

Or you could do a perfume-making campaign


This really astoundingly beautiful art was created by Katie Scott, I think for a perfume ad campaign? But clearly it is in truth an inventory of things found in the sorceror's workshop: the kind of half-witch, half-alchemist of the nightmare counter-Renaissance we all avidly desire to simulate. Click for bigger but w/o the humbers. I numbered it for d20 rolling once your players start looting: or you could print it and make it a drop-table instead.

1- Clearblossom. If eaten, the flower, above the waterline, grants 60' darkvision and advantage on perception and investigation checks for d8 hours. The root, below the waterline, does the opposite (inc. disabling darkvision). Both can also be used to make an infusion which lasts for d4 hours but means there's more to go around.

2 – Sylph liver. Here seen still wrapped in some of its unwilling donor's flesh, with the connecting veins severed. Can be swallowed: painful and unnatural (Con save or vomit it and all other recently eaten food up and suffer a level of exhaustion) but if kept down metabolises all toxins for 3d6 days, neutralising them.

3 – Pathwater. Distilled from cave moss: pour on the ground and it flows to the nearest exit of any underground space. Massively intoxicating to dwarves and gnomes.

4 – Luck diode. This one is obvious. Whichever player claims it can reroll their next d20 roll.

5 – Gaiarium. Needs successful nature and arcana checks to use – generates perfect rootless growing conditions for the plant attached to the left arm by fully simulating all the sunlight, water etc necessary. Can duplicate a plant item in d4 days.

6 – Dodecagate. Once a day, an ability check roll can be replaced with a 12 (before applying modifiers and before knowing if the previous roll succeeded or failed).

7 – Eygg. Laid by chickens raised in a box with entirely mirrored sides (which the chickens will tend to constantly attack). 'Hatches' after d4 weeks, cracking open into an egg-shaped eyeball (or an eyeball-looking egg) which will transfer what it sees back to the owner (as clairvoyance). Can't move but can live indefinitely, if fed large amounts of salt daily. Otherwise dies after d4 days.

8 – Peacock. Mundane peacock: peacock feathers have various magical application but the best use of a peacock is generally finding a nearby aristo whose garden needs brightening up and selling it to them for an extortionate price.

9 – Oxiode. Small, heavy crystal that absorbs and negates 50hp worth of fire and lightning damage, at which point it explodes, as fireball.

10 – Hushweed. Eaten or made into an infusion and drunk (durations and amounts as clearblossom above), it makes you entirely silent (inc. unable to talk).

11 – Spectre's fingers. Another edible or infusible plant, as 1. Grants those who consume it a spectral, controllable hand (as mage hand) for the duration.

12 – Schist anemone. One of very few to grow underground rather than underwater. It has a mild poison (statistically as per violet fungus) if you get within tentacle's reach but its real value is that produces natural sovereign glue to adhere to schist outcrops. Hence the large chunk of stone it comes with. Glue production is slow but constant.

13 – Geode of potential. Plausibly contains immense mineral wealth. Tell this to your players. Have them tell it to jewellers, nobles, merchants: everyone who is told will magically believe it to contain increasingly untold riches: rubies like goose eggs, emeralds like a maiden's fist, amethysts like a stag's heart, etc etc etc. They always turn out to contain a small amount of pyrite, and nothing else, once broken open. Can your players whip up the speculation, resist the temptation to open it themselves, and then leave town right after the auction?

14 – Fineflower, with apparatus. Any liquid siphoned around it and into the green glass receptacle becomes pure, drinkable water.

15 – Fatroot. Fleshy root mass burns for 2d6 hours, producing no light but copious amounts of repulsive-smelling black smoke.

16 – Roll on whatever potion table you like best. It's the result, but also it makes the user crave further doses obsessively.

17 – Potter's Dawn. Tip a measure of the liquid mercury in the thimble into the preparation in the pot (closely guarded secret, but maybe you can find out if you've not killed the alchemist yet) and a small sun will dawn out of the pot and shine for 4d20 minutes, with all the effects of the real one. The pot is big but not too big – like the size and weight of a full backpack.

18 – The Mourner's Palm. Produces uncontrollable bouts of weeping, sobbing etc when eaten or drunk in an infusion (as above). Big with professional mourners.

19 – Echo-cylinder. Filled with a mixture of liquid reagents; when the cylinder is struck with the small silver gong, the liquid will boil off leaving behind a small, perfect scale model of all the empty space into which the sound travelled (d4x100ft under normal dungeon circs, but obviously very changeable).

20 – Judge's Velvet. When eaten/infused as above, makes the instructions of the user function as command spell. Tastes completely repulsive.